Xavier Woods officially became the 22nd King of the Ring in WWE history on Thursday, defeating Finn Balor at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view. Woods entered the match as the favorite, given how much he has campaigned for the return of King of the Ring in the past. He explained in a WWE YouTube interview earlier this week, "I feel like I'm, for the first time in this company, getting the chance to show what I can do by myself. This is the most important thing in my career."
The 11-time tag team champion managed to avoid Balor's Coup de Grace attempt late in the match, then nailed his Limit Break diving elbow to score the pin. He then celebrated with the crown, throne, cape and scepter.
"Seeing things dealing with the medieval times and the medieval era and anything that has those kinds of vibes, there's usually a situation where the king is like, challenged to a fight or somebody wants to like challenge or authority, whatever. The king selects a champion to fight for him," Woods said in a recent interview with the Into The Danger Zone podcast, explaining why the tournament means so much to him. "That tells me champions don't have kings. But kings have champions. Making kings have more power than the champion, a champion works for a king, a king works for no one. Think about the long, long, long, long lineage of people that have held the Heavyweight Championship that's a lot. Even to this point, the Universal Championship. That's a lot of people.
"To me, the crown is a representation of passing the test. The Heavyweight Championship is a representation of climbing the mountain and beating the person on top, extremely important. As an academic. I want to be tested. I want my test, my Scantron, to do my essay. Let me present in front of the class, test me. Test me so I can know if I will pass or fail, so I know," he continued. "I don't necessarily think that I've earned anything because I have yet to be tested in the way that I feel a king would be tested. That's why I want it so bad. Because, yeah, it's cool to have the crown and do a gimmick and all this stuff with it. But on a deeper note as like a human as Austin Watson, I want that test so that I can know. So I've talked all this stuff about King of the Ring and all this stuff. But if I went out and just underperformed. Alright, cool. I know now and I'll shut up. But like, you want a draw? That to me is it. Winning one match? Anybody can win one match on a given day, winning a full tournament on one night? That's not something that happens at random to anyone."
Check out the updated results from Crown Jewel below:
- (Kickoff) The Usos def. Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin
- Edge def. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell)
- Mansoor def. Mustafa Ali
- Raw Tag Team Championships: RK-Bro def. AJ Styles & Omos
- Zelina Vega def. Doudrop (Queen's Crown Finals)
- Goldberg def. Bobby Lashley (No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere)
- Xavier Woods def. Finn Balor (King of the Ring Finals)
- WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
- WWE Championship: Big E vs. Drew McIntyre
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks